Woburn Abbey Today

Your Guide to Woburn Abbey

Woburn Abbey first opened to the public in 1955 and has welcomed visitors from all over the globe. There are 22 rooms that you can experience, which house one of the most significant private art collections in the world.

As you explore the many individual rooms of Woburn Abbey, you will also discover 18th Century French and English furniture, magnificent silver and gold collections, in the underground vaults, and a marvellous range of porcelain and many privately collected items treasured by generations of the Russell family.

These captivating rooms and fascinating antiques show a personal side to a public family that has been instrumental in many significant periods of English history.  


Image for Woburn Abbey Today The 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford

400 years of history

The Abbey has been the home of the Earls and Dukes of Bedford, one of England's most powerful families, since the 1620's. It is currently the home of the 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford and their children. Russell family members have included Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, Lord High Admirals and philosophers over the centuries and provide a direct link to the events of the past that shaped the England of today. 

> Our Family Tree


Image for Woburn Abbey Today One of our views of Venice by Canaletto

Over 250 works of art

View one of the most outstanding collections of art works on public display. These include:

  • The largest private collection of Venetian views painted by Canaletto on public view
  • The Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I
  • Artists such as Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Reynolds, and Van Dyck
  • Artworks by Queen Victoria and Richard Stone

> Art and the Collection


Image for Woburn Abbey Today The Grotto

22 Rooms To Discover

The splendid rooms include:

  • The unique Grotto which dates from the 1630s
  • The State Apartments with original 18th century architecture
  • The Holland Library which is one of the largest private libraries with an extensive collection of natural history books
  • Underground vaults housing the family's gold and silver collection
  • The Chinese Room with its decorative wallpaper

> Must See Treasures


Image for Woburn Abbey Today Woburn Abbey is an example of Palladian architecture

At The Heart of an English Palladian Home

The Abbey has been at the centre of social and political history which includes tales of political reform, Royal State visits, imprisonment, beheading, grand tours, love affairs and more. Famous house guests have included monarchs, politicians, leading naturalists, famous designers, architects and adventurers. 

> Our Timeline


Love this page?...share it with friends

Events & Exhibitions

Image for Come and Grow: Lawn Care, Pruning and Composting

Come and Grow: Lawn Care, Pruning and Composting

to
Pick up useful advice from the Woburn Abbey Gardeners as they take on seasonal projects.
Image for Tri For Life at Woburn Abbey

Tri For Life at Woburn Abbey

We're pleased to be welcoming the Tri For Life triathlon back to Woburn Abbey in 2014.
Image for Introduction to Horticulture - Study Days

Introduction to Horticulture - Study Days

to
Let the Woburn Abbey Gardens team give you the confidence to tackle the jobs in your own garden with these four sessions.
Image for Bat Walk

Bat Walk

and
Take an exclusive tour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens at night and learn about the nocturnal activities of the bats living in the gardens.
Image for Come and Grow: Bulb and Tree Planting

Come and Grow: Bulb and Tree Planting

to
This month the Woburn Abbey Gardeners will be demonstrating bulb and tree planting.
Image for Off Road Deer Park Tour

Off Road Deer Park Tour

and
Join the Deer Keepers for a 1.5 hour tour of the Woburn Abbey Deer Park where you will able to get up close to the beautiful deer.
Image for Autumn Garden Lunch and Tour

Autumn Garden Lunch and Tour

The Sculpture Gallery provides a stunning setting for our Autumn 2014 garden lunch, followed by a private guided tour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens.
Image for Off Road Deer Park Tour

Off Road Deer Park Tour

and
Join the Deer Keepers for a 1.5 hour tour of the Woburn Abbey Deer Park where you will able to get up close to the beautiful deer.
Image for Study Day: Humphry Repton at Woburn Abbey

Study Day: Humphry Repton at Woburn Abbey

Take an in-depth look at the career of Humphry Repton and what made him such a remarkable landscape gardener.
Image for Come and Grow: Herbaceous Borders and Turf

Come and Grow: Herbaceous Borders and Turf

to
Come along and pick up useful hints and tips from the Woburn Abbey Gardeners as they tackle seasonal gardening tasks.
Image for Luminaries Woburnensis

Luminaries Woburnensis

Illuminating the Abbey Gardens after dark, an evening of enchantment and adventure featuring light, fire and ice.
Image for Come and Grow: Pruning Fruit Tress and Double Digging

Come and Grow: Pruning Fruit Tress and Double Digging

to
Woburn Abbey Gardeners are on hand to discuss and demonstrate gardening skills at this month's Come and Grow.
Image for Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2015

Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2015

to
Whether you are a gardening expert, handy with a trowel or never potted a plant before, all are welcome at ‘The Gardener’s Garden Show’, back for its sixth year in 2015.